Iowa recently underwent some advancements in its unemployment insurance system, and employers in the state should be well aware by now of these new developments. However, the Iowa Workforce Development is seeking to help all of those employers out there who might still have some issues or questions with the new electronic and digital requirements for the unemployment insurance system.
They have been holding, and will continue to hold, seminars for employers to explain to them things like how to file quarterly and annual unemployment payments and reports through the new system. The state officials will also be going over the requirements for how to file all of these reports through the new electronic system in the state, as well as how to use the automatic and electronic computation system for figuring out taxable wages and contribution requirements.
The whole seminar will be interactive, and will allow employers to discuss directly with officials from the Iowa Workforce Development organization this new system. And as always, any chance for you employers to sound off on something is a step of democracy that you shouldn’t pass up if you can.
There are also seminars on the whole basic process of unemployment too, from how to temporarily lay off workers, to what happens when workers quit or refuse to take up new work at your company. You could also learn the ins and outs of the unemployment insurance system when it comes to seasonal workers and temporary help, as well as issues regarding drug testing, health topics, and other reasons that could lead to a discharge of a worker.
For more information on possible workshops near you, or for more info on this new electronic unemployment insurance system in the state of Iowa, you can check out the Iowa Workforce Development’s Web site yourself.
There is new technology news coming out of the Iowa Workforce Development department. The Iowa Workforce Development group just announced that it is using a new eFile & Pay system for its unemployment insurance tax system. The new technology allows employers to file their quarterly unemployment reports electronically, instead of having to send in old mail documents, or magnetic tape files.
Remember back to all that talk we had last month about how the unemployment insurance tax service works in the various states in the Union? Well, in state of Iowa, as in many of the other states, employers are required once a quarter to submit a report of their contribution to the unemployment fund as well as exactly how much payroll they have paid out to their employees.
Unemployment taxes are based on this payroll amount, multiplied by some percentage depending on your industry, how long you have been around as an employer, and how good you have been about paying your unemployment insurance taxes, as well as what sort of history you have in terms of how many of your former employees have been on unemployment insurance. In other words, if you as an employer have had big layoffs in the last few years, your percentage on unemployment taxes is going to be higher because of it.
But I digress. The new system will allow you to pay and file your unemployment insurance quarterly reports all on the computer, and without worries about privacy or security issues, according to my sources at the state Workforce Development department. You will be able to pay be a so called eCheck, or by using your company credit card. You can also still send in paper checks along with a paper voucher that you can print off the computer. You will also be able to import all of your employee wage data from your system direct into the state system without having to key it all in.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao recently announced an $857,668 grant, to assist approximately 150 Iowa workers dislocated as a result of the closure of the Newell Rubbermaid Home Products Inc. plant in Centerville, Iowa. The grant includes an immediate release of $388,416.
“Dislocated workers can benefit greatly from career counseling, skills training and other employment services as they seek to transition into new jobs in growing industries,” said Secretary Chao. “This $858,000 grant will provide Iowans affected by the Centerville plant closure access to these resources so that they can secure good jobs with a promising future.”
In the summer of 2006, Newell Rubbermaid announced that the Centerville plant would permanently close in the fall. The state conducted rapid response sessions with the affected workers immediately following the announcement to inform workers of the help available for their re-employment needs. Still, a number of workers remain unemployed.
The fIowa unemployment grant will be used to provide services for displaced workers including career counseling, training for new jobs and assessments. More than 100 workers are expected to benefit directly from these efforts.
The Iowa unemployment grant is awarded to the Iowa Department of Workforce Development. It will provide workers affected by the plant closing with an array of re-employment services. These services may include career and occupational skills training, employment readiness and job placement.
National Emergency Grants are part of the Secretary of Labor’s discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state’s ability to meet specific guidelines. They are awarded in cases of natural disasters, as well as plant closings. A number of recent grants benefit such varied locations as the Appalachians, Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, Northern New Jersey and the Arkansas Delta region. Grants for areas affected by natural disasters include Mississippi, the Gulf Coast, New York, Illinois and New York.
In Iowa’s unemployment insurance program employers have rights, too. Under the laws that govern unemployment insurance, employers have rights equal to those of claimants every step of the way. A review of Iowa Unemployment Insurance posters explains this equality.
Just as workers have the right to file claims for unemployment insurance, so do employers have the right to protest them. Just as workers have the right to appeal any decision, so do employers have the same right. For both workers and employers, the rights are comparable and equal, giving both a fair opportunity to present their cases.
Employers should familiarize themselves with the Iowa Unemployment Insurance posters and procedures involved in challenging claims made by former employees.
When an unemployment insurance claim is filed against the employer’s account, the employer is immediately notified by mail. If the employer feels the claim is not valid, the employer may protest payment of benefits by noting the reason for disqualification on the notice form and returning it to Iowa Workforce Development at the address or fax number shown on the form within 10 days from the date it was mailed.
If the employer or claimant protests the claim, a fact-finding interview will be scheduled if the employer’s account is going to be charged for benefits. Normally it will be conducted by telephone. A notice of the interview will be sent to the employer. It will contain the scheduled date and time of the interview.
It is important that the employer or a representative of the employer’s company participate in the fact-finding interview. The employer may submit a written statement in lieu of participation but the employer will not then be available to respond to any rebuttal given by the claimant if the employer does not participate in the telephone interview. It is essential for all participants in the interview to be available at the time the telephone fact-finding interview is scheduled to begin.
Once the initial decision is reached, the employer will receive a decision within a few days of the fact-finding interview. It may be in the claimant’s favor, immediately releasing unemployment insurance payments. However, additional appeals are available to the employer–the same as they are to the claimant under procedures listed on the Iowa Unemployment Insurance posters.